BuyBay is a tech company that helps retailers (both traditional and E-Commerce), distributors, and manufacturers sell their returned products to new owners. When you think about it, every retailer, distributor, and manufacturer in the world faces the same problem: returned and overstock items piling up in their warehouses. And since these are non-moving inventory, losses pile up as well. Our goal at BuyBay is to provide a more sustainable solution to the problem of managing returns and overstock.
You might have seen our slogan, “A smile in return“. And this is exactly what we aim to achieve not just for our partners and customers, but also for our team members. We want them to see BuyBay as one of the reasons they get up each morning.
I recently had a brief chat with Laurens Wijkstra, our Sales & Accounts Director to find out what it is at BuyBay that motivates him to come to work every day.
Who is Laurens Wijkstra?
I’m 34, was born in England, and moved to Italy for a while. I’m currently living in Amsterdam. I graduated in law school and did my masters in Entrepreneurial Law. For the last six years, I worked for Procter and Gamble and later on I decided to work for smaller-scaled companies where my work will have a stronger impact.
There are three reasons why I chose to work at BuyBay:
First, is due to the emergence of E-Commerce and how it significantly changed the retail industry. With the advent of modern technology, consumers and sellers are now offered more convenient options to fulfill their purchasing and selling needs.
Secondly, BuyBay has multiple options to further grow in the BeNeLux, mainly via our End-to-End solution and our Software as a Service model (see further on). We even see more opportunities outside of the BeNeLux, as we are one of the few companies within Europe who can provide a sustainable solution on a large scale.
Last but not least is BuyBay’s mission to contribute to environmental sustainability. Knowing that I’m working on something with a greater cause, it makes me take pride in my work and the company I’m with. Basically, instead of producing more plastic into the world, we are maximizing the use of products that already exist to minimize waste.
How long have you been with BuyBay and what is your role at BuyBay?
I have been with BuyBay for more than half a year. I started in January of 2020. My primary responsibilities are retaining current partners, acquiring new ones in the BeNeLux region, and devising better solutions to streamline the processes of fulfilling our partners’ needs.
My role is spread to three-folds:
- Internally – Streamline the work process for the commercial team in BeNeLux.
- Externally – Promote our value proposition and unique selling points.
- Explore BuyBay’s potential – Creating joint business plans that will help our partners fully take advantage of our solution.
What are the challenges of your current role at BuyBay?
One of the biggest challenges we face these days is that the need for our solution is growing exponentially due to the pandemic further accelerating the E-Commerce industry, thus increasing product returns from online purchases. But we are confident that we will continue to face this progress and development in our industry in a positive way.
In fact, we are open to adding more members to our team who are willing to take the challenge to respond to this rapid growth.
What are the opportunities in your role at BuyBay?
There are many opportunities in my position at BuyBay.
First and foremost, BuyBay is growing so fast that new opportunities will come for everyone who is working at BuyBay. I believe our company will change every 6 months for the coming years, so there are plenty of opportunities for all employees, including myself. This growth means I get to meet wonderful individuals working at BuyBay who are passionate about what they do, and they help me grow as a professional.
I’m also presented with the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise with our partners. At BuyBay, we are all about providing the “best,” and I take that value down to my core. I feel joy and contentment every time I deliver what is expected of me by our partners – by maximizing the value of their products, improving the quality of returns, and offering a seamless process – and colleagues alike – by cultivating a sustainable business operation and fostering good work relations.
We are more than just a service provider; we are a solution provider.
What does a typical day or a workweek look like for you? (Before COVID 19 and during). How did the pandemic affect productivity?
As part of the commercial team, I am “externally” active for more than half of the time. External communication is essential for our department. I am also very much involved with internal affairs such as monitoring and analyzing results and looking for more opportunities for BuyBay. And for that very same reason, our department, the commercial/sales department, is working closely with the operations team and various other stakeholders in the organization.
Our policies have changed during the Coronavirus period. These days, we’re in the office 2-3 days per week. During the first few weeks since the pandemic hit us, everyone worked from home, including me. Now, we are busier than ever. Thanks to technology, we can collaborate with colleagues and communicate with our partners even while we’re working from home.
From your perspective, what is BuyBay’s unique business model, and how does this work?
All of our partners have a large amount of customer returns or overstock. So basically, we process, and grade the returned goods of our partners and sell them to new customers. BuyBay offers three service models. Generally, a Full-service Model – from the minute the product arrives in our warehouse, we conduct the stages of the returns management process. From inspecting the items, grading them, and fixing them before being put up for sale on sales channels. With our End-to-End solution we can unburden our partners even further by being the return address for the end-consumer. Lastly, we can supply our grading and selling software in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.To illustrate, we guide independent and tech-savvy brands who have a current process in place but want to streamline their returns management processes.
What are BuyBay’s goals this year and for 2021? How about the next five years?
The goal is to reach greater heights, not just in terms of client acquisition and sales but also in workforce, operations, and processes. We are getting to 50% sales growth this year, and I would like to see a steady growth for the next two years. We also want to expand in Europe.
In the next five years, I see BuyBay as Europe’s top returns management company. It’s all a matter of scalability, hard work, and providing the best possible service to our partners. The problem we are solving is prevalent in every country and market, so there is a massive opportunity for growth.
How will BuyBay achieve these goals?
BuyBay will achieve these goals by sticking to our core fundamentals, continue providing excellent service to our partners, coming up with more ideas to improve our work process, and promoting our value proposition and unique selling point.
There are several things that will happen in the returns management industry. Europe has stated that its goal is to be 100% circular by 2050 and the Dutch government aims to become a 50% temporal economy by 2030 – BuyBay has an opportunity to play a significant role in these developments. These statements may seem far-fetched but assuming that we will become the top returns management company in Europe within 5 years (based on our current trajectory), our role in the future should become even more significant.
What do you expect for the future of BuyBay?
For now, our goal is to present BuyBay’s unique selling point towards our potential partners and how it will greatly impact their businesses – in a positive way, of course. These businesses suffer from the problem of returned goods – which they can no longer sell or don’t have the capacity to do so in an efficient way; and that is where BuyBay steps in! I would say we are more of a problem solver than a service provider in terms of maximizing the value of returned goods and environmental sustainability.
How would you describe the company culture at BuyBay?
Our culture is energetic, ambitious, youthful, and intrinsically motivated to do the right thing. As I mentioned before, our company is all about sustainability. We maximize the value and use of products that most retailers or manufacturers would consider disposing already. This way, our company contributes to environmental care by lessening the need to produce more products. Everyone at BuyBay shares this vision.
In a few words, what word of advice would you share with future employees of BuyBay or anyone who’s aspiring to be a part of BuyBay?
All I can say is, with BuyBay, you become a part of a movement. Join us to build a better future, not only for BuyBay but for the world!
Besides the added value you are building on sustainability, you get to know the world of eCommerce and Software as a Service.
Final Thoughts on our Interview with BuyBay’s Sales and Account Director, Laurens
Laurens gave us a straightforward and clear view of what BuyBay is about. In a nutshell, Buybay is preparing to take on a pivotal role in changing the way businesses manage their unwanted returns or overstock. In this effort, BuyBay is introducing to manufacturers and retailers a new outlook on the important message of sustainability through the solutions BuyBay presents to partners and customers.
Are you in search of a career where you can help make the world a better and sustainable place to live in and encourage retailers and manufacturers to re-use more and produce less? We are looking for a Business Development Manager Benelux! Apply here!
Interested in joining BuyBay?
Reach out to Suzanne!